Michael Brown is Director of the Consensus Building Institute’s Canada Practice, Professor of Practice in Natural Resource Conflict Mediation at McGill University, and former Senior Mediation Expert in Natural Resource and Land Conflicts for the United Nations Standby Mediation Team. For over 25 years, he has worked on conflict prevention, mediation and stakeholder engagement regarding natural resources, land, environmental issues, and matters involving local or indigenous communities. He works on projects and disputes, institutional capacity, systems design, and policy. He has lived and worked internationally for over twenty years, and held numerous leadership and senior advisory positions with the United Nations and other international organizations. Michael joined CBI in 2017. He has worked across Canada and in dozens of countries throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa. Michael speaks English, Spanish and French.
Michael focuses on the intersection between natural resources, land, collaborative decision-making and conflict management internationally and within Canada. He designs and manages multi-stakeholder processes and mediations concerning natural resources (extractives, energy, water), environmental issues, and indigenous land claims and governance. He builds conflict prevention/management systems and strategies, and provides in-house capacity building to international organizations, government agencies, companies, and civil society actors.
Michael negotiates, facilitates and supports multi-party negotiations for stakeholder groups at international, national and local levels. He also provides strategic, programmatic and policy advice on conflict management regarding individual projects or disputes, broader systemic issues and matters of governance. He supports policy development for international organizations, governmental agencies, and companies, and undertakes stakeholder assessments and conflict analyses. Michael also works on corporate-community engagement regarding natural resource projects.
He has written over 70 professional reports and publications. He is the lead principle author of the United Nations publication, Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners (http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/UNDPA_UNEP_NRC_Mediation_full.pdf), and also was a principal contributing author of USAID’s Land & Conflict: A Toolkit for Intervention (http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnadb335.pdf).
Michael has given over 50 keynote speeches, lectures, expert presentations, executive training seminars and workshops at national and international events, mostly at the United Nations, universities, business associations and community events.
He is a senior mediator on the rosters at the United Nations (Department of Political Affairs) and the Canadian National Energy Board, a certified mediator in Canada. He is an Associate Member of the Centre for Legal Pluralism and Human Rights at the Faculty of Law at McGill University. He holds a J.D. (Juris Doctor) from the University of Victoria and a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Physical Geography from McGill University. Michael was called to the Bar as a lawyer in Ontario (Canada), although is not currently a practicing member.